Finance Minister Arun Jaitley regrets delay in GST rollout

New Delhi, Aug 5: Citing slowdown in China, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said India has a chance to become a global manufacturing hub but regretted that Congress was not allowing GST rollout which alone could push GDP by 1 to 2 per cent.

The minister said in Lok Sabha that India can see 8 per cent growth as the government is taking a host of steps to boost investment besides reviving stalled projects and pumping in more funds into PSU banks.

FM regrets delay in GST rollout

In addition, "rain Gods have been kinder this year which is expected result in a good harvest," he said.

Jaitley, who was replying to a debate on Supplementary Demand for Grants amid a boycott by Congress and a number of other opposition parties, said the government will infuse Rs 70,000 crore in PSU banks in the four years and they will raise another Rs 1.10 lakh crore from the market, making them healthier to finance economic growth.

"If my friends (Congress), who are not present in House today, allow implementation of GST, which was introduced by Congress, you will have an uniform tax rate, one market and it is capable of boosting economy by 1-2 per cent.

"In adverse situation we can touch 8 per cent if banks are recapitalised, GST implemented, stalled projects revived and infrastructure spending improves," he said.

The GST bill, which proposes to usher in a uniform indirect taxation system throughout the country, is stuck in Rajya Sabha which is unable to function because of opposition protests over various issues.

Turning to China, which has been the world's fastest growing economy, Jaitley said it has slowed down and its wage bills have gone up, pushing up the cost of its products.

In this context, Jaitley said, "It is for us to become a manufacturing hub. It is then the Indian economy will achieve full potential".

The Finance Minister said India, which is targeting to grow by over 8 per cent in a sustained manner, is a "bright spot" among the global economies. India grew at 7.3 per cent last year and RBI has projected this year's growth to be 7.6 per cent.

"In this global environment where global winds are not favourable .. In past few years, we have come down to reasonably bottom pit... Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership, we are reviving the economy and it is responsibility of all of us to cooperate to enhance growth rate," Jaitley said.

He said global economies are facing challenges and even for a high growth economy like China, the new normal is 7 per cent or below.


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